New report shows Alarming Surge in Malicious Cyber Attacks in Ireland

  • Kevin O’Loughlin, CEO of Nostra, one of Ireland’s leading Irish cybersecurity specialists and Managed IT Services said the risk of cyberattacks on Irish businesses and government agencies is at an all-time high. 

    A recent global cyber threat report by SonicWall, a leading global security company demonstrates that the pandemic’s ‘work from home reality’ made it even easier for cybercriminals to attack endless targets.  The report, which has just been published showed that there were over 623 million ransomware attacks globally, an astounding 105% increase while ransomware volume increased 232% since 2019. The report also highlighted a 65% increase in ‘never before seen’ malware variants, encrypted threats increased 167% year-on-year and a record 97.1 million crypto jacking attacks were found.

    “No business is immune to cyberthreat and cybercrime,” said Kevin O’Loughlin and added, “there are simple and free steps a business can take as a starting point to secure data such as two factor authentication by way of example”.  He went on to say, “Cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated, and their methods evolve all the time in line with technology. Threats that were once thought to be two or three years away are now a reality and can deliver devastating blows. If any Irish business or organisation is concerned about a potential cyberattack or indeed if they have been a victim of an attack or are being held to ransom, there are several providers out in the Irish market, including us who can provide expert advice and assistance.”

    He highlighted how the HSE suffered a devastating cyberattack last year which seriously affected its services, patients, and employees and warned that the potential for more painful blows to both private and government agencies is very real.

    RELATED: Survey finds 95% of Irish SMBs experienced a cyber-attack last year

    “We know from the HSE hacking last year how detrimental a serious data breach can be on an organisation. The HSE attack is one we all heard about, but thousands happen all the time behind closed doors. This is much more serious than people realise. Data and IT systems are key to how our business organisations and governments run. A serious cyberattack can be crippling and financially punishing. Investment in the National Cyber Security Centre in recent times is very positive but we need to go further and educate and train SME’s and individuals on best practices for cyber security.  “Cybercrime is not high on everyone’s agenda, but it is high on ours here at Nostra. It is essential that Irish businesses are adequately prepared and aware of how best to protect their data and systems.”

    Mr.O’Loughlin also noted that the  recent Russian invasion, coupled with the pandemic creates the perfect scenario for criminals, or hackers’ intent on stealing information or interrupting an organisation and its systems.  There are still lots of people working from home, many of them are using personal laptops and logging in over unsecure internet connections. Without adequate firewalls and defences, businesses are sitting ducks for malicious cyberattacks.  At best, a cyberattack could result in downtime, but more and more organisations are reporting much more significant and damaging outcomes such as data loss and ransomware.

    SonicWall is a key cybersecurity partner for clients of Nostra. The software has robust security features including firewalls, email security solutions, endpoint security solutions, content filtering systems and the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) multi-engine sandbox. 

    RELATED: Survey: Irish SMBs would survive for less than 5 days following successful cyberattack

    Tristan Bateup, Country Manager, Ireland, SonicWall said, “There were countless cyberattacks on all kinds of organisations in Ireland last year from financial institutions to health care to SMEs. These attacks are not unusual anymore, now cyberattacks are common practice. It is vital that organisations expand their thinking from just, “How are we going to prevent an attack?” to also include, “What will we do when (not if) we get attacked?”. As a SonicWall Secure First Platinum Partner, Nostra are well positioned to support their clients in defending their organisations from today’s most evasive cyberattacks.``

    For more see

     For more on the SonicWall Cyber Threat Report follow this link

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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